Revisiting an old drill originally posted in 2003, some things just never go out of style.
Why Do It:
While most people will see pulling on the lane line as something to be avoided (unless you’re a breaststroker), it can be a great teaching tool for young and old swimmers who swim with a straight-arm pull in backstroke.
How to Do It:
1. Push off and pull on the lane line about 3 to 4 times.
2. Release the lane line and try to keep the hand pulling in the same pattern as when you were pulling on the lane line.
3. Stay on the same side of the lane, and reverse so you can now use the other arm.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Make sure you’re using this only as a drill to learn a better backstroke. Also make sure you’re working with your coach or teammate to give you feedback on how you’re doing after you let go of the lane line.
Another great way to learn this is with the new FINIS Agility Paddle, which encourages you to catch the water quickly, and early in the stroke to keep the paddle flush against the hand.
Finally, don’t tell your coach you were doing a drill if you get caught pulling on the lane line in the middle of practice. All coaches know that trick.